API is one of the terms that people who are closely interested in internet technology have often heard.
This technology has taken its place in almost every part of our lives.
API (Application Programming Interface)
An API is an interface that enables users to use a service or application as intended, within certain limitations.
Interfaces such as Google Chrome, WhatsApp, YouTube, and Instagram are the most suitable examples of APIs.
You can use the features, functions, and content provided by the application without the need for the application itself.
What Does API Mean? What is the expansion of API?
API is short for “Application Programming Interface”.
How an API Works?
It would be useful to explain how an API works with an example. When you start using an application on your computer, the application accesses the Internet and transmits data to a server.
Afterward, the server that receives the data processes it, performs the necessary functions and transmits it to your computer. In the next stage, the computer receives this data from the server and interprets it.
Finally, the application on your computer carries the information you want to see on your screen in a readable format. This transfer, which takes place in seconds, allows you to easily access the programs you want to use. API has 4 different working methods.
Working Principles of an API
API has 4 different working principles according to the method and usage area. These are:
The protocol used in this API method is the Simple Object Access Protocol. The communication between the requesting device and the server takes place via XML.
This method is an API that is not very flexible compared to other methods and is not used much anymore.
Another name for these APIs is Remote Procedure Calls. The first action of the device requesting the data completes a procedure on the server.
After this process, the server sends the requested data to the device making the request.
In this modern method, JSON objects are used to transfer data. WebSocket APIs support two-way communication between client applications and servers.
In this method, servers send a callback message to the devices connecting to the server. For this reason, they are more efficient than REST APIs.
What is API Integration?
It takes place between your device as a client and the server(s) that your device interacts with. It is the whole of the software that provides the automatic updating of the data between the two parties.
For example, this integration ensures that the clock on your phone is automatically synchronized when traveling from one country to another.
Or, automatically uploading the photos in your phone's gallery to Google Drive can be given as an example of API integration.
What are API Types?
The features that make the types different from each other may be due to configurations or usage areas.
Based on the scope of use, these types can be evaluated under 4 different headings.
This type varies according to the situation of each institution. It is used only to connect the system and data owned by the institution.
This type can be used by anyone. Some of this type, which are open to the public, can be found for a fee, and some for free.
Solution Partner API
It is only used to contribute to partnerships between institutions. Open to authorized external developers.
Addressing the needs and structures of systems with complex situations. To find a solution to this issue, it provides integration of two different APIs between each other.
What is the Importance of API Endpoints?
Endpoints are where the communication between the client and the server is provided.
These points include the URLs of websites and the locations that allow data to be sent and received between systems.
These existing endpoints are very important for organizations. The reasons why it is important are safety and performance considerations.
The situation that triggers the security is that if the endpoints are not sufficiently secured, they become vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
On the other hand, the performance criterion can negatively affect the performance of the system where the servers are located, by creating the bottleneck effect of the endpoints.
API Acts as a Layer of Security
The API is located between the device you are using and the server you want to reach. Neither the device you use nor the server accessed is completely vulnerable during the transportation and delivery of data.
When using the API, both parties use small data packets for transmission. It just doesn't show all the data it has on either side during the transfer. Instead, only the data to be transferred is shared with the other party.
Why is API Important Today?
Almost all the necessities needed in daily life have started to be met through the internet.
With the increase in the volume of circulation on the Internet, the need for more practical and rapid use of applications and programs on the Internet arose. The development in API technologies has been increased for more comfortable use of these programs and applications.
It has been ensured that people can use the applications without the need for too much information.
If we give examples of API technologies that we use almost every day as many famous brands such as:
Salesforce can be said among these technologies.
How do API Attacks Happen?
Such attacks can happen because the code is not fully strongly written by the developers.
The hacker who performs the cyber-attack injects the code they created into software such as SQL Injection XSS to infiltrate your software.
How Can We Protect Against API Attacks?
You can use the 2 methods written below to protect your application programming interface a little more from cyber-attacks.
With this method, the user must use another password in addition to the original password. Two-factor authentication happens when login attempts are made from another device.
For example, when you enter your bank's mobile application, you will be asked to enter the additional code you receive on your phone.
With this time-sensitive code, it is ensured that you are the one trying to log into the system.
This method is provided by encrypting the traffic created by the data going back and forth at both ends. No matter how much of the data the malicious user who made the cyber-attack can capture, this data is encrypted.
Thanks to the encrypted data, the hacker cannot access the data. You can use an SSL certificate to encrypt traffic between client and server.
Since the data is shared with business partners and other customers, it is inevitable to ensure API data security.
You can check out another blog article about cyber security named “How to Increase the Cyber Security of Your Servers?”, you may be interested.